The FIFA World Cup is here! And so is technology!

First things first. Who’s going to win the glory this time? Germany, France, or Brazil?

And who’ll win tonight? Russia or Saudi Arabia?

If predictions are anything to go by, Brazil has the highest chance of winning the cup, followed by Germany at 12.8% and Spain at 12.5% (close, eh!).

Well, for me (if it matters), it has and always will be…Deutschland vor, noch ein Tor!

Achilles has picked Russia as the winner against Saudi Arabia tonight # 2018 FIFA World Cup

But wait, what if I told you that technology has already predicted this year’s winner?

According to research by Cornell University, a combination of machine learning, conventional statistics and a method called random forest approach will identify a different, most likely winner this year. Say whaaat?

Here’s what they’ve got to say:

Spain has a greater (17.8%) chance of winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup. But if Germany makes it to the quarter-finals, (which it will, 58% chance) it becomes the front runner 🎉🎉🎉 Deutschland vor, noch ein Tor

Did you know that a country’s GDP & population also made it to the list of parameters along with avg. players age, number of Champions League players, FIFA ranking of national teams and more.

We will know only once all the 64 matches are done.

Oh, and hey, let’s welcome Iceland and Panama to your first ever World Cup. 👏👏

Football and technology clearly go hand in hand.

During the previous World Cup, we witnessed the wonders of goal-line technology. Remember when Honduran goalkeeper Noel Valladares conceded a goal against France, but wouldn’t agree it actually was a goal? Thanks goal-line technology. ⚽

The actual need for the GLT was felt in the 2010 World Cup when Frank Lampard of England scored a goal against Germany, but his goal was disallowed because the referee didn’t see it.

How else has technology made its inroads into the #2018 World Cup?

Video assisted referees (VAR)

This year, FIFA has taken technology implementation up a notch by introducing a Video Assistant Referees team. These referees will review all 64 matches and inform referees of any mistakes or missed incidents, or when the referee asks for assistance.

Cool Fact: The VAR team will have access to 33 broadcast cameras — including eight super slow-motion and four ultra slow-motion cameras — as well as exclusive access to two offside cameras.

Electronic performance and tracking systems (EPTS)

Wearable technology in football allows coaches and medical teams to get more data about player tactics. It helps understand how a player is doing physically, if he’s tired, stressed or injured, or when to make a substitution. The data also helps them understand team dynamics to build a stronger team.

Hublot’s Big Bang Referee

Hublot’s $5,200 watch for referees will be connected to goal-line technology. With the watch and GLT, referees will be able to follow all the trajectories of the ball and be certain of whether the ball entirely crossed the goal line or not.

Adidas Telstar 18

Adidas is the official FIFA match ball supplier and the Telstar 18 comes with an NFC chip. While the players don’t benefit from this feature, we footie fans can upload videos of us performing special competitions and challenges and be featured in the run up to the World Cup.

4K UHD

Let’s not forget, the game feed will be broadcasted in 4K UHD. So, if you have the BBC Sport VR application, you will feel like you’re right in the middle of the stadium in a private box.

Oh, and if you were planning to take your drone along, bad news. According to euronews, the Russian Federation has banned all types of planes and flying devices from the venue.

And that’s the long and short of it. Let’s see who becomes the champ this year!

Let the games begin!


Like what you read? Give Nikita Pandit a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.